Definition of abstain verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    abstain

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//əbˈsteɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsteɪn//
     
    [intransitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they abstain
    BrE BrE//əbˈsteɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsteɪn//
     
    he / she / it abstains
    BrE BrE//əbˈsteɪnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsteɪnz//
     
    past simple abstained
    BrE BrE//əbˈsteɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsteɪnd//
     
    past participle abstained
    BrE BrE//əbˈsteɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsteɪnd//
     
    -ing form abstaining
    BrE BrE//əbˈsteɪnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əbˈsteɪnɪŋ//
     
    Healthy eating habits
     
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  1. 1abstain (from something) to choose not to use a vote, either in favour of or against something Ten people voted in favour, five against and two abstained.
  2. 2abstain (from something) to decide not to do or have something, especially something you like or enjoy, because it is bad for your health or considered morally wrong to abstain from alcohol/sex/drugs See related entries: Healthy eating habits
  3. 3abstain (from something) (Indian English) to stay away from something The workers who abstained from work yesterday have been suspended.
  4. see also abstention, abstinence
    Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French abstenir, from Latin abstinere, from ab- ‘from’ + tenere ‘hold’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: abstain